Notable Nevadans





July 14, 2016

Mr. HELLER: Mr. President, today, I wish to recognize two of Nevada’s brightest students – Athena Turek-Hankins and Daniel Saftner – on being selected as 2016 recipients of the Fulbright Scholarship.

The Fulbright Scholar Program was developed shortly after World War II by former U.S. Senator James William Fulbright to promote the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science. Today, the program offers 1,900 grants each year for students to study in various fields in more than 140 countries worldwide. As a highly competitive and prestigious scholarship, thousands of students and young professionals apply from across the country. I am proud to congratulate these two students on their achievement. These students are shining examples of how hard work leads to success, and they stand as role models for future members of the Nevada Wolf Pack.

Ms. Turek-Hankins recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) as an honors student and received her bachelor’s degree in international affairs with a special emphasis in Middle Eastern affairs. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in French and a minor in philosophy of ethics, law, and politics. Ms. Turek-Hankins will be teaching English in Luxembourg this coming fall through the Fulbright Scholarship and will have the opportunity to expand her knowledge on European economics.

Mr. Saftner received his bachelor’s degree from UNR in geology in 2011. His studies focused more specifically on climate change. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree from the University in hydrogeology from the Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences. In addition, he spent two years in Cameroon, Africa, as a volunteer in the Peace Corps. His Fulbright Scholarship will allow him the opportunity to return to Africa in Niger, West Africa. While there, Mr. Saftner will research the variations of groundwater quality in the rural areas of Southwest Niger and participate in a global effort to increase access to safe drinking water in developing countries.

Today, I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating these exceptional young Nevadans. I am proud to have them representing both Nevada and UNR as global ambassadors through the Fulbright Scholarship. These students worked hard for this incredible opportunity, and I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

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